Amsterdam supergroup, founded in 1968. First line-up: Kaz Lux, (v, ex-Screamers, Rhythm Brothers, Sheridans, Impulse, Bibs, Truth) Jan Akkerman (g,o, ex-Hunters, to Focus) Andre Reynen (b, to Minisink Townhouse and Twelve O'Clock) Pierre van der Linden (dr, ex-After Tea, to Focus).
Cast 1970: Kaz, John Schuursma (g, ex-Rob Hoeke) Rudy de Queljoe (g, ex-Dragonfly, (with John) replacing Akkerman, after Herman Meyer did also try that for a short time in 1969, ex-Full House) Frans Smit (dr, replaced stand-in Shel Schellekens, ex-Big Wheel, he himself came from September) and Andre. In 1971 Michel van Dijk (ex-Amsterdam) replaced Kaz and two new guitarists appeared: Tony de Queljoe (ex-Dragonfly) and Ron Meyes (ex-Temple). Bassist became Robert Verwey (ex-Amsterdam, to Long Tall Ernie) and Frans stayed on drums. In 1972 the group fell apart due to waning success.
1969 Down man/Woman's gone Imperial IH 844 Sea of delight/Amsterdam the first days 5C 006-24027 Summertime/Dark rose 24076 1970 To you/So helpless 24135 Between alpha and omega/Cruel train 24217 Doomsday train/Good morning day 24238 Smile/The flight 24258 LP Brainbox 054-24082 1971 Virgin/Mobilae 006-24414 Dilemma/If you could only feel it 24454 LP The best of Brainbox 054-24327 1972 A part of me is a part of you/When I was poor 006-24429 Downman/Summertime/Dark rose 24635 2LP To you 180-24568/9 LP Parts Harvest 5C 056-24551
[1-3-1969]:37-15-13-14-21-32-29-32 DOWN MAN brainbox [17-5-1969]:39-30-32-38 SEA OF DELIGHT brainbox [18-10-1969]:39-28-17-16-17-21-24-29 SUMMERTIME / DARK ROSE brainbox [21-3-1970]:32-24-19-20-37 TO YOU brainbox [3-10-1970]:31-20-16-18-28-40 DOOMSDAY TRAIN brainbox [19-12-1970]:34-20-17-15-16-17-27-38 SMILE brainbox [3-7-1971]:30-27-20-21 VIRGIN brainbox
Oosterhout singer, ex-Screamers (1961), Rhythm Brothers, Sheridans, Impulse, Bibs, and Brainbox (1968-71). Performed with several bands, in which a.o. John Schuursma (guitar), Andre Reynen (bass) and many other Brainbox members.
1972 Brown chrystal/Carry me back to my abode Harvest 5C 006-24628 LP C.S. 5C 056-24561 1973 I'm the worst partner I know/The twentiest last letter 5C 006-24694 Back to the egg/Miss Franklin blues 5C 006-24821 LP I'm the worst partner I know 5C 056-24778 1974 LP Monk 5C 062-25117 1976 LP I'm the worst partner I know (re) 5C 038-24778 LP Eli (w/Jan Akkerman) Atlantic ATLN 50320 1978 Tell me doctor/Lovin' you Asylum ASN 13125 It's allright girl/Met a sinner Asylum ASN 13134 LP Distance Asylum ASN 53080 (re)LP Monk Bovema-Negram 5C 038-25117 1979 Rolling/Blind man Willy CNR 141568 LP Luxury CNR 655095 LP A voice Bovema-Negram 5C 050-26204 1980 Hangover/Blisters CNR 141595 Rock & roll widow/Grandpa CNR 141663 LP Transparental [w/Jan Akkerman] Ariola 203043 1982 LP Dialogue [w/John Schuursma] [eigen beheer]
[3-11-1979]:39-33-36 ROLLING kaz lux
Jan Akkerman is easily the most influential guitarist to have ever come out of Holland. He's been this country's favourite number one guitarist, according to the Dutch popularity polls, for many years now, and is also the only guitarist to achieve such fame and acclaim abroad.
In the early seventies, Akkerman was awarded by the UK pop publication, Melody Maker, as the "Best guitarist in the world"! Akkerman has a characteristic style, comprised of several components. The most important ones are rock'n'roll and classical music. But he is also the one who introduced the swelling violin-like sound in his compositions as a viable part of a song. This technique was later emulated by many guitarists. Besides the electric guitar, he also plays classical guitar, lute and piano (on occasion).
Jan Akkerman, born in Jordaan, Amsterdam, started learning guitar at the age of 5. As a teenager, he played in several local bands, Johnny And His Cellar Rockers being the most well-known of the lot. This band also featured the young Pierre van der Linden (later in Focus, Trace). The Hunters was the first group which brought Akkerman success outside Amsterdam. His virtuoso guitar lick in their hit single, "Russian spy and I" brought him instant recognition all over Holland. At about this time, aged 18, he recorded his first album, "Talent for sale". This album mainly consists of covers of famous R&B and rock'n'roll hits such as "What'd I say", "Green Onions" and "Mercy Mercy".
In 1969 Jan founded Brainbox, but left it only after three hit singles.
The following year, he joined Focus. It was with this band that he bedazzled stunned audiences in England and the U.S. with his magnificent style of guitar playing, as well as songwriting; Jan penned this group's most famous hits, such as "Hocus Pocus" and "House of the King". Aided by fellow band mates Bert Ruiter and Pierre van der Linden, he recorded his second solo album, "Profile". Side One of the album contains just one composition, "Fresh Air". On this track, he demonstrates his fabulous guitar technique in its full glory. On Side Two he played lute and classical guitar. In 1973, Jan recorded yet another solo album, "Tabernakel", produced and arranged by George Flynn. Additional musicians on this album included Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice. On "Tabernakel", Jan showcased many facets of his talent, however, this record is somewhat bombastic in places.
Following some wrangles with band mates in Focus, and a fallout with Thijs van Leer due to musical differences, Jan left Focus in 1976, to start a solo career. In 1976 he recorded his fourth solo album "Eli" together with Kaz Lux, ex-Brainbox. This album was greeted warmly by critics, got into the charts and stayed there for many weeks to come. Akkerman hardly played any solos on this one, but he did create beautiful melodies. The tour of the Akkerman/Lux band, however, didn't turn out to be quite as successful. Some gigs in the UK were cancelled as a result. Akkerman then switched to session work. In 1977, he played on the orchestral version of Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" together with the Residentieorkest. "Jan Akkerman" and "Aranjuez" were his further solo efforts in a similar, orchestral, vein, arranged by Michael Gibbs and Claus Ogerman, respectively. The follow-up, "Live", recorded at the jazz festival in Montreaux, was a rather disappointing effort. From "Aranjuez" onwards, Akkerman suffered from lack of direction. On "Jan Akkerman 3" he experimented with funk-flavoured easy-listening. The production costs of this album were very high, the sales - too low. It was no surprise then, when Atlantic terminated his contract in 1980. The following album, "Transparental", was recorded for a new label by almost the same line-up as the best-seller "Eli". This, second album with Kaz Lux, was sadly not only not distinguished by the quality of the first one, but also turned out to be a complete commercial disaster. In 1981, many of Jan's fans were unpleasantly surprised by "Oil In The Family", a disco album containing instrumental, Middle Eastern-flavoured tunes. Almost all instruments were played by Akkerman. The common consensus was that had sold out. This album was selling badly, just like its successor, "Pleasure Point", a predictable effort with hardly anything new to offer.
Due to the lack of interest, Akkerman signed a new contract with the Deutsche Grammophone Gesellschaft and recorded "It Could Happen To You". This album, recorded in Copenhagen, was made mostly with the help of Danish musicians. On it, in places, Akkerman reached the same quality level of material, which he had been renowned for a few years back. It turned out to be his best album in years. Since 1977, Akkerman has not played in any band, nor has he had any stable line up of assisting musicians. He usually prefers to play with temporary formations comprised of hired session musicians, in Holland and Germany. On the recent compilation, called "Phenomenon", Jan decided to resurrect his old hit from the Hunters days, "Russian Spy and I".
Talent for sale Profile Tabernakel Eli Jan Akkerman Aranjuez Live Jan Akkerman 3 Transparental Oil in the family Pleasure point It could happen to you Phenomenon Puccini's Cafe Blues Hearts Focus In Time 10.000 Clowns On A Rainy Day
1968 LP Talent for sale Imperial SALI 8012 LP Talent for sale (re) MFP SMPP 5036 1972 LP Profile Harvest 5C 056-24707 or SIRE SAS-7407 1973 LP Talent for sale (re) Emidisc 5C 048-51105 LP Tabernakel Atlantic ATL 40522 or ATCO SD 7032 Harvest 5C 006-24826 1974 House of the king/Javeh Atlantic ATL 10427 1976 LP Guitar for sale Sounds Superb SPR 8050 (re. of Talent for sale) or EMIDISC 048-51105 LP Profile (re) EMI 5C 030-24707 LP Eli Atlantic ATLN 50320 (with Kaz Lux) 1977 LP Jan Akkerman Atlantic 50420 or Atlantic SD 19159 (with Tony Scott) LP Prism Polydor 2925060 1978 LP Live Atlantic K50560 1978 LP Aranjuez CBS 81843 1979 LP 3 Atlantic K50664 1980 LP Transparental Polydor 2417 141 1981 LP Oil In The Family CNR 0060.480 1982 LP It Could Happen To You Polydor 2374 210 1982 LP Pleasure Point WEA 58441 1983 LP Can't Stand Noise Metronome 815 715 -1 ME 1984 LP From The Basement CBS 26094 1985 LP Focus Metronome 824 783-1ME (Jan Akkerman & Thijs Van Leer) 1990 CD The Noise Of Art IRS NO SPEAK EIRSACD 1026 Singles: 1973 Blue boy/Minstrel farmer's dance [02-03-1974]^17*5 HOUSE OF THE KING jan akkerman
Jan Akkerman (g, ex-Friendships and Shakin' Hearts) began his recording career in the Amsterdam-based rock'n'roll group The Cellarrockers. The group also accompanied, a.o., Aart Brouwer and Karin Kent. Before 1963, their records featured only instrumentals, after - material inspired by The Beatles. Line-up: Pierre van der Linden (dr, in 1963 to The Mystics and replaced by Sidney Wachtel, to The Hunters), Cor Engelsma (b), Jan Burgers (g), Cor Burgers (g, since 1962) and Hans Kuyt (p). In 1965, Jan Akkerman joined The Hunters, and the group fell apart.
1961 Melody in F rock/Exodus Decca FM 264399 Hits in rock nr.1 (Non je ne regrette rien/Surrender/Tommy uit Tennessee/ /Wheels/Pepe/Are you sure) Decca FM 264400 1962 Blue tango/Una aventura mas Decca FM 264478 Namrekka/Bonzo Decca FM 264479 EP (Blue tango/Una aventura mas/Namrekka/Bonzo) Decca V 63119 1963 Close your eyes/Bebopalula Decca AT 10049 1964 I love you yes I do/Why [Duitsland: DL 25174] Decca AT 10106
JOHNNY & CELLARROCKERS Jun 1964 CLOSE YOUR EYES (ALL MY LOVING) HP 14, 1 month
Jazz-rock studio guitarist; one of the substitutes for Jan Akkerman in Focus, since 1977.
1977 LP Blue capricorn CBS 81727
[see also Focus, Otger Dice]